How Long Will a Hen Lay Fertile Eggs?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by angelbabyamy, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. angelbabyamy

    angelbabyamy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 18, 2011
    Myrtle Point, OR
    My mother calls me today crying and tells me that my father killed my Polish rooster today. I live within city limits and my parents have 5 acres, so my chickens live there. I'm about 1 1/2 miles away.
    "Sideshow Bob" was a year old. They've told me that he tries to flog them, but I never had a problem with him. He lived in my house for 6 weeks and was very tame when he was young. I've seen my dad "playing" with him- he would flog my dad and my dad would lift him up with his foot and throw him back. The rooster would keep coming back at him. My dad had thought this was "funny". I guess it must have went too far today. My mom is upset at my dad's behavior, saying he's going crazy. (He's 67)

    I am wondering how long my hens will lay fertile eggs. The hens only started laying about 7 weeks ago. They are aso a year old. (Polish)
    I hatched 4 chicks 3 weeks ago and have eggs I am hatchig for someone else that are due to hatch next week. I promised my sister's friend I would incubate some duck eggs when these chicks hatch. I can't hatch my chicken eggs with the duck eggs can I? The humidty levels are different, right?
     
  2. chickened

    chickened Overrun With Chickens

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    Reliably a week or so.
     
  3. chickintexas

    chickintexas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 19, 2010
    Spring Branch
    My Silkie is sitting on 3 eggs that were laid 2 1/2 to 3 weeks after the roo was killed. They are due to hatch this weekend. [​IMG] So there is hope. Sorry to hear about "Sideshow Bob."
     
  4. ScissorChick

    ScissorChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 17, 2010
    Under Your bed
    Three weeks, and somtimes, but rarely 4 weeks.

    We have a few nut head roos to. They're a pain, but I still love em' [​IMG]
     
  5. CrestedGirl

    CrestedGirl Polish Obsessed

    Mar 7, 2011
    Fort Worth, Tx
    It is a week to around 3 weeks i think
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2011
  6. ThaJuicyJuice

    ThaJuicyJuice Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 3, 2011
    Miami
    Evidence shows that they should lay fertile eggs up to two weeks but not much after that. And I've heard of a lot of people hatching duck eggs and chicken eggs together. Humidity is a funny thing. People swear by 40%, others 50% and then there are others that claim dry 20-35% is the way to go. So if you want to do duck eggs maybe keep humidity at 45-50 and then raise it at day 18 for chicken lockdown and keep it raised till 25 for duck lockdown.
     
  7. speakup4kids

    speakup4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 3, 2010
    Yuba City , CA
    I just hatched out my last two chicks and they were from eggs that were laid 4.5 weeks after I gave my roo away. I have been collecting daily and testing fertility and after these two I had a couple that started and then quit so I figured that my hen just ran out of "juice" I did notice that as I got farther and farther away from "d day" or rooster give away day, the chicks that were hatching seemed to be weaker. I don't know if it's a coincidence or due to the length since mating but I had decided to not incubate anymore even if I got them after these guys were so much trouble. I'm kind of sad now… no eggs to incubate!! [​IMG]
     
  8. chickened

    chickened Overrun With Chickens

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    A fertile egg is a fertile egg what effects the hatch is lenght of storage and storage conditions. Moisture evaporates from eggs thus reducing hatch rate and vigor of chicks that do hatch. I keep eggs for 7 days and have 90% or better hatch rates. Any longer the hatch rate suffers but that is not to say an egg 3 weeks old won't hatch it is just not as likely. A roosters sperm can only swim so far into a cluster of yolks and once they are fertilized it is a matter of how soon that last one is laid. Other things can happen though before it is laid that can make the egg a dud.
     
  9. speakup4kids

    speakup4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 3, 2010
    Yuba City , CA
    Like I said, I don't know for sure, it could have been one of those, "other things" that affected the eggs but I have five hens that the eggs were coming from but by the time these were laid two three were broody so it only could have been two. I incubate the day the eggs were laid so there was no storage time at all and the chicks were progressively weaker, with more and more losses happening as time went on. I started to keep track just for my own records. My hatch rate went from 80% (these were eggs that were saved and incubated) and then my last two were the survivors out of 14 eggs so 15%. Interesting, if nothing else.
     
  10. chickened

    chickened Overrun With Chickens

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    Oct 2, 2010
    western Oregon
    It kinda sounds like maybe incubator (you are incubating them?) sanitation may be a possible cause. If hatch rates drop off gradually that can do it.
     

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